Tuesday, May 08, 2007

the (internal) commune

Between the comments to my last post and Chani's piece I've been daydreaming about what it would mean to truly have a vibrant community around me in the physical form. It's a place I drift to sometimes since finding all of you, imagining a neighborhood where to the left, right and across lived strong and amazing women (and men) who strive to connect in an authentic and tangible way.

How rich our evenings and weekends would be; how full the lives of our children. So many of you have left your imprint on me, of course I want to share that with M, so that she, too can grow up feeling supported by a diverse and stimulating choir of voices. And I know we'd pull each other's trucks out of the mud, literally and figuratively as often as needed.

It's one of the reasons we are eager to move to Belize. While I obviously romanticize the possibilities, I can't help but think how different life would be if it were a bit slower, with less media influence, more time to live in community. Harder in some ways, but richer in others.

The last time we were there we were talking to some of our neighbors, some boys in their teens, and I asked them what they thought was most important. Just like that, an open ended question. One of them immediately replied to be conscious.

And that's how you all make me feel, too. More conscious. That's one of the many gifts of this community. And in that spirit I am taking a bit of a hiatus from my storytelling (not from blogging, just the recent dredging I've been doing); I had hoped it would make me feel less like drowning but it was having the opposite effect. And the next stories on my mind are darker. I am sure I'll return to it, but for now I am going to spend some time wandering down other paths and see what I find there.

38 comments:

KC said...

Listening.

crazymumma said...

I like wandering down paths, be they dark or bright. Because there is always something to be found in the journey. Not the destination, not the end of the line, but the moments that make up the footsteps.

I am blown away by that teenage boy saying to be conscious...amazing aren't they.

Susanne said...

New paths sound interesting. Not that the old ones were boring.

metro mama said...

I'll follow wherever you wander.

Thanks for the book! I'm about 50 pages in and loving it.

Mad Hatter said...

Uphill, downhill, on the plain, I'm riding beside you.

QT said...

Dude, I am strapped in and ready to roll. Or should we take the motorcycle?

kristen said...

Wouldn't that be brilliant, that community?
I can't imagine darker stories but then of course I can. Whatever you're saying friend, I'm ready to hear.

thailandchani said...

I'll also be very interested to see where you go with it. The answer from those teenage boys also surprises me... and gives me hope. :)


Peace,

~Chani

Binky said...

The teenagers I know (like my fifteen year old sister) might have answered "to be conscious," but they would've meant it in the more sarcastic way denoting "to be awake."

"Like, ha ha, what's important in life? Uh, I guess, uh, being conscious! Ha ha." I'm not one to talk, though. I pretty much slept through life right up till my daughter was born.

Tabba said...

"Everybody sails alone. But we can travel side by side."
~"Heal Over" by KT Tunstall

Everytime I come hear and read your latest, I hear that lyric in my head. That is all I will say. That and.
I'm all ears.

flutter said...

I've got your hand in mine and where you go, I will follow.

Redneck Mommy said...

Wander where you will...I will follow.

I'm easily led. And I have a bloggy crush on you...

Jocelyn said...

"To be conscious." Wow.

Were I that boy's mother, hearing him say that, well, my eyes would be full of tears--so proud.

Darkness or light, your writing and thoughts are amazing. Pour out whatever you've got!

Btw, the house next door to us is for sale, and, um, Duluth is a whole lot like Belize, so maybe you should just move here. My kids would love up your M.

Kyla said...

That would be one amazing community.

Gwen said...

I don't know where you're headed next, but I will definitely visit you in Belize.

Belize. Love.

But are the Red Sox there?

slouching mom said...

I'll be by your (virtual) side.

meno said...

It's all good my friend, it's all good.

Bon said...

listening, and willing to wander with you, wherever.

though i'd really like it if you forsook Belize for the charms of PEI...because my figurative truck can use some unsticking and while the community we all have here is gorgeous, it would be better with wine, face to face.

just took a look back through your recent posts because i've been AWOL...dark places, indeed. haunting. and i guess you're in a haunted place.

i wonder sometimes if that's the price of being conscious.

glad you're out there, wherever it is.

Momish said...

Show me the way, friend. I will gladly follow you. It is nice to let the heaviness go sometimes and let some others carry the weight on their shoulders now and then.

But, of course, those slouchers never do it quite as right! I know you will be back with more stories, and I await.

Beck said...

Belize?
I live out in the sticks, in a tiny little poky town and even here, there's still bad stuff. But the good stuff seems more intense, like a whole town that knows me and watches out for me. I can't imagine ever moving someplace bigger.

Lucia said...

I love this post. It made me feel warm and present and conscious. And that's where I want to go.

NotSoSage said...

You know I've got your back, wherever you're going.

And I'd move to that neighbourhood in a second.

Deezee said...

I can't help but think how different life would be if it were a bit slower, with less media influence, more time to live in community.

Ah, neither can I...I just don't think American life as it is structured and presented to us these days is making much time for lingering. Can we start a movement of rebellion against the pace?

And I so understand your needing a respite from the harsh stories you've been sharing despite your beauty in sharing them.

Emily said...

Community is such an interesting topic...one I've had some conversations about lately. Looking forward to hearing of the tales on the new paths.

urban-urchin said...

If we're following you to Belize can you promise I won't get bitten by a botfly infested mosquito? (I am so completely wigged out by that I can't even tell you.) *wringing hands* Cause I'll go- I just want protection from creepy crawlers. (I believe I'm what's known as a city girl).

Julie Pippert said...

I hope you wander down the justice, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance roundtable path. :)

You know, if we lived together, some of the thought-provoking consciousness might ease the way of daily practicalities. KWIM?

But ditto!

carrie said...

Just make sure you stop in for a group hug every now and then when you need one.

Carrie

hel said...

I too dream about living in a community. One filled with all the women I blog with every day. Where if one day I have a child she can wander around safely with many strong caring people being her parent.

I will gladly wander around with you light or dark. And stop every now and again, take a deep breath and be filled with admiration, courage and hope.

Laurie said...

My hometown was a close-knit, caring community when I was growing up. I think it gives you a different type of awareness and concern for the people you share this world with. The town isn't that way as much anymore, but my dad's neighborhood still is and that is why I still call it home.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I'll miss your stories but I know they'll be back. Until then we'll have to start working on that real life blog community. Sounds like heaven to me.

wordgirl said...

Yeah...you in my neighborhood sounds like a really good thing.

ewe are here said...

A teenage boy responded 'to be conscious'! Wow. Unexpected yet... not somehow.

Aliki2006 said...

I daydream about that community, too--I often feel so isolated and I marvel at would it would be like to have so many of the people I cherish here in the blogisphere around me in real flesh and blood.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Conscious and aware and alive. Together.

This community is pretty darn amazing if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Jen, I so understand the ache and need for a community. I have thought about this for years...communes are now called "co-housing", and I thought seriously about moving into such a place pre-children.

Alas, I've altered that plan to adjust to the (boring) suburbs instead. It's taken me 3 years, but the roots have finally taken and are beginning to blossom...

I'm going to write more about this over at my place...in the meantime, i'll continue to hang around here, keep the tea & coffee warm, a box of toys for the kids handy and open arms for huggin.

Lil

Lawyer Mama said...

I want to live in your neighborhood.

I can't wait to see where you go next!

KC said...

I want you as my neighbor. DC suburbs before Belize?

Denguy said...

It would seem that the world is our community.